Cuppa'T Specialty Teas

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Recent Tasting Notes

71

I was really excited to try this one, so it’s the first out of the three new Cuppa’T blends I picked up that I’ve chosen to make. Visually, this blend is really pretty; it has all sorts of different sizes and colours and shapes of stuff in it – and I think that’s what drew me to it because, while I’m not anti-pumpkin, pumpkin is a flavour that I’m relatively neutral towards. So, based mostly on the visual I picked some up.

I’d forgotten what the ingredients in this one were by the time I got home and this is a newer blend not listed on the Cuppa’T website so I messaged the store owner Jule for an ingredients list and she was very quick in responding to me with the ingredients list! I am definitely impressed by that.

My parameters for this first cup were 1 1/2 tsp. of leaf steeped in an 8 oz. mug full of boiling water for 6 minutes. I was aiming for closer to four, but time got away on me. Dry, this smells like an Autumn tea; it’s subtly fruity with a gentle pumpkin/apple smell and nice warming spices like cinnamon and steeped the smell gives off strong apple and mandarin notes with mild pumpkin and cinnamon notes. It sort of smells like a cider, to be honest.

Taste wise; the first thing I notice is the apple/mandarin with mingling notes of hibiscus (gentle though; not overpowering), pumpkin, and maybe mango. This gives way to a more 50/50 apple and pumpkin taste with cinnamon and fleeting coriander notes to round it out. The rooibos base is barely present at all. More than anything else this makes me think of some kind of gently spiced Apple/Pumpkin cider, which is lovely. The aftertaste I get is primarily cinnamon/pumpkin. This would probably be phenomenal as a fall tea.

I think with a shorter steep time you could probably eliminate the hibiscus/mango in the forefront and get more of the apple/pumpkin, and perhaps a stronger taste of the rooibos base. I’d also love to try this with milk.

I’m really enjoying this – though admittedly it’s a fair bit different than what I was expecting, though I’m not even sure if I could tell you what I was expecting. I think I just had a super generalized idea of what this might be.

EDIT: Slightly more hibiscus taste as it cooled.

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85

Sipdown (99)!

Bitter sipdown. Literally bitter sipdown. I steeped this up yesterday to take with to work, and I drastically oversteeped (by like five minutes). It totally ruined the cup to the point where, in normal circumstances, I would have just dumped it but it was more worthwhile taking a hot cup of gross to work just to have something warm to sip on and hold on the walk there. Since I was running late, I had no time to rebrew.

I haven’t decided whether I want more of this: when I’m not being totally thoughtless/careless it’s actually very good, especially with just a little bit of milk. Guess I have until the weekend to decide: I’m going up to Regina to have an early Christmas with my family and see Cirque de Soleil and one of my Christmas presents is a shopping spree at Cuppa’T – that’ll likely be my only time to stock up on Cuppa’T blends for a while. Likely a long while.

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85

Tre and Amy are having a fight right now (in Tre’s room) and I’m just sitting here, very awkwardly in the living room, trying to pretend I can’t here.

EDIT: He just came out of his room because he had to grab his charger, and he just mouthed the words “So awkward” to me.

But anyway; you know how sometimes you’re just in the mood to watch horrible TV or movies that you know are shitty in, like, every aspect possible? That was me last night and this morning; so I watched the entire Twilight Saga. I have some regrets; but it was what I was in the mood for. The cold brew I drank this morning while watching Breaking Dawn made it better though; I’m surprised how good this one turns out cold brewed.

It was sweet, and the “Candied Almond”/marzipan aspect of this really pushed through but then there was this lighter cinnamon sugar thing going on, and this super yummy French Bread note that kept popping up. Delicious! I’ll absolutely have to do this cold brew again!

Sadly, I’m almost out of this one now though…

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85

Today is mostly about sipdowns and trying new things, but had to slip in something consistent and older in between all of that; hence why I had a cup of this one.

I took it with milk; between the other blends I was steeping up at the same time and a milk (calcium?) craving, this one just seemed like the right choice. Maracaibo is one that was totally new to me, so I didn’t want any additives in it and Passionfruit Banana is not something I’d consider adding milk to because of the “Tropical Fruit” element.

This tasted pretty good; though I think the milk dulled a little bit of the marzipan sweetness. Bonus points though, because it also dulled the cinnamon and that left an enjoyable nutty sugar cookie/sweet dough type taste. Very calming and relaxing!

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85

Cracked this bad boy open this evening! The 50g sealed package has been sitting in my closet since buying it in January and I just thought to myself “Hey, why not!?”.

Man was it ever good! It both makes me feel good for delaying opening it because it feels extra special and rewarding now, but I also am a tiny bit sad I could have been drinking it but haven’t been. But hey, I get to enjoy it now and that’s what counts!

The tea tasted really similar to something I’ve had recently but I’m heavily struggling to figure out what. Regardless, it had delightful notes of fresh baking – not bread, but similar to bread. There was also a sweet, borderline marzipan like nutty quality from the candied almond slivers, and a light dash of sweet cinnamon to give the whole mix a little depth and character. It was a very nice evening tea!

This is something I can see myself taking outside to enjoy in the backyard at like midnight. Just a serene sort of warm cuppa to cradle while looking at the stars…

Mental note to myself: drink more tea in the giant backyard you now have but haven’t put to use since moving!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cinnamon, Nuts

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Suziqzer

I can’t put off trying something I ordered that long :) Sounds like a good one. The name makes me thing of Teavana’s Caramel Almond Amaretti (which to me tasted like roasted candy almonds when I bought a cup at the store) or Davids Forever Nuts which I have a sample of that I need to try.

Veronica

We bought our house eight years ago, and I still feel like I’m not making proper use of our yard. I spend a lot of time working on it but not near enough time enjoying it.

Amariel

Sounds yummy!

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85

This finishes off the sample sent to me from Lala – though I thankfully still have a sealed 50g packet that I bought from Cuppa’T earlier in the month. This portion, however, was made in my timolino and brought with to Robyn’s.

Steeped for four minutes in boiling water – and I’m not really sure how much leaf was used since I just dumped it all in the brew basket. More than 1 1/2 tsp. and less than 1 tbsp.

It was a little bitter, but that could be from sitting in the timolino all day (I made this at like 2 PM but didn’t drink it until around 9 PM) or from a longer steep time. Still really good though: like a marzipan heavy almond cookie.

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85

Received this from Lala! She was super thoughtful and sent out Christmas cards to people with tea samples. The tea comes from a local store that I’ve never been to, but plan on going to when I’m up in the city the next few weeks. I really wanted to try this one out prior to leaving, to now if it’s something I’ll want to stock up on while I have the opportunity to do so.

Dry, the leaf smells exactly like what I had wanted from Butiki’s Almond Indulgence; it’s sweet and candy like, with clear almond smell – but the hard to describe almost fruity sweetness of almond extract or almond flavouring in baking! So good!

For my preparation I went with a just slightly heaping tsp. of leaf in 10 oz. of boiling water, steeped for four minutes. I just ordered pizza, so I’m drinking this while eating cheese and pineapple pizza and two bite brownies (I felt too sick to actually cook anything, but was starving). It’s a weird pairing, honestly.

The tea tastes very good; very cakey or like pastry like which really ties in to the “sweet almond baking” thing that the dry leaf reminds me of. It’s very almond with a smooth black base and a very light hint of cinnamon. So, so tasty! Yeah, I’m totally going to be picking up more of this!

Thank you Lala!

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97

So I bought this to blend with another tea. But I thought I better try it by itself before its all gone and blended away. This one smells sweet, not too smokey. There is a light sweetness to the tea, also a little but of malt. Hardley any smoke, but there is some there. The liquor is thick but the flavour is very light and basic. I feel like there is some vegetal flavour to this like it is almost a black tea but not quite. Just the slightest metallic tinge in the aftertaste. No astringency or bitterness. I love keemun. I am kind of sad I blended it all away, but I know where I can get more :)

So on a sidenote, I have found my favorite tea blend. It is this tea, mixed half and half with lapsang (also from Cuppa T, although it really doesn’t matter where the tea is from) mixed with two fresh slices of ginger, and a slice of naval orange. Brewed for 1 minute at just less than boiling. The orange and ginger stay in the cup. It is delicious. It is like Sunday breakfast, when you stuff your face with bacon, pancakes, milk and orange juice. And then lay on the couch the rest of the day. So good.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Sil

nice! i so need to try your orange and ginger tricks one of these days

caile

Sounds like a tasty blend!

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63

For a while, I was obsessed with flowering teas. I just thought it was so neat how the balls would open up in beautiful pieces of art. But what I found after a while is I dislike how most of them tasted. I totally understand it is super hard to artfully sow tea leaves together so they bloom perfectly, I am sure there are only a few kinds of tea leaves that will work for this, but I just don’t like the taste of most of them.

This one is super jasmine smelling. Very parfumey, not parfume in the sense of good smelling, but parfume as in body spray. There is a definite chemical type smell to this one.

The taste is not as bad as I had anticipated from the parfumey smell. It is definitely jasmine. There is a chemical parfume taste but it is very light. There are some really sweet notes that remind me of berries, maybe like cherries. There are also some peppery notes. The jasmine is mellowing quite a bit as it cools, and the sweet berry notes are becoming stronger.

I have to take back what I said above, this one is tasting not too bad, not a favourite or cupboard staple, but it is drinkable.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 45 sec
K S

I got to the point of cutting the offending flowers out after the ball opened, so I could better enjoy the second cup. Globe amareth is just kind of nasty after awhile.

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61

Thank you Lala for this sample. From my Secret Pumpkin package. :)

The cinnamon is strong in this blend but there is something spicier lurking behind it, like pepper or chilli…it tickles my nose as I sniff.

Flavour wise I had to double check I had the correct tea…I can taste cocoa mixed with cinnamon and spices. No pumpkin though which is a shame. The black tea is strong compared to the rest of the blend and at best it tastes like a black tea with mild spices.

Some sweetener lessens the black teas thickness but there is even less spice if none now to speak of.

This tea is just not for me, it’s disappointing but at least drinkable.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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59

I steeped it a bit longer this time and it resulted in more almond and less rooibos. Not nearly as delicious as Davidstea Alpine Punch, but it’s better than my first cup!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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59

I’m just now getting back into my Secret Pumpkin/Turkey swaps! This one was from my Secret Pumpkin Lala. If I hadn’t known this was flavored rooibos, I might not have known, since it was mostly just rooibos. Thankfully, I like plain rooibos. Very occasionally I would get a hint of sweet almond in my sip, but it wasn’t throughout the sip, it was more like “ohh, ahh, nice, now back to rooibos”. This isn’t something I’d stock in my cupboard ‘cause really, if I wanted rooibos, I’d just buy rooibos, but I’ll definitely use up the sample.

Also, how many times can I include rooibos in a review? Many many times.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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73

sample sidpdown! and i’m back down to 140 teas. 15 days ish to get through 35 more haha.

I received this in the mail the other day from Lala with a really thoughtful, surprise holiday card. :) It was a wonderful surprise to get in the mail! Thank you a bunch lala. This tea smells a lot like a combination of brioche and S&V’s sweet almond tea (i think it is…) that i enjoy.

I brewed this up this evening since i was in a bit of a holiday, festive mood after my afternoon with raritea. This has a great almond taste to it along with a bit of cinnamon. It’s not cinnamon heavy though – rather the cinnamon just enhances the almond flavour. over all a pretty tasty tea, though it’s a little thin? for my tastes. While drinking it, i kept wishing for it to have a bit more of a full feeling to it. however, still a delicious cup! thanks Lala

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Lala

Happy you enjoyed it!

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70

I received a lovely holiday card tea card in the mail yesterday from Lala. Thank you so much for the warm, generous, thoughtful gesture. I am truly touched by your kindness. In the card was a sample of this tea.
This is a nice light almond cinnamon tea. In Lala’s tasting note she suggests cake, I’m getting bakery, but I think more strudel or danish – yep almond, cinnamon “coffee cake” danish.
I’m not sure I would have bought this for myself, but am really happy to have gotten this sample. Thank you!!!

Lala

You’re welcome. Glad you liked it.

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90

I actually really enjoy this rooibos. It is slightly woodsy but not too strong. Those woodsy notes work well here with the orange and pistachio.

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90

I made some rhubarb muffins with rhubarb from my garden, so this seemed to be a good pairing for my snack. I was completely right because this was delicious together.
This tea isn’t sweet at all, it is a little creamy, and maybe a little bit malty? I don’t know, I am not even sure how to describe it.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

Mmmmm….rhubarb!

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90

This cuppa was nice. There are actual strawberry bits and it tastes fairly natural. There is a definite creaminess. I quite enjoyed it

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79

Thank you Lala for this sample. Received from my Secret Pumpkin package.

This blend smells very spicy and nutty. The coriander adds a herbal element to the spice, it is like a chai with a difference.

The orange comes through nicely in the flavour being sweet and creamy in the first few sips which is followed by a dry nutty and spicy chai like flavour. The pistachio is rather heavy for for a non pistachio fan like myself but it’s forgiving as by the time you think ‘yuck pistachio’ the spices come in and you end up thinking ‘yum spices’.

The orange actually becomes stronger as it cools which is a large plus for me as I love orange.

I like it, sort of orange tea meets a nutty chai tea.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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80

Thank you Lala for this generous sample!

This tea is not as flavourful as I would of hoped as Lala mentioned. I still enjoy it though, the subtle black base and the subtle hints of orange. Not a tea I would choose if I wanted a big kick in the morning. It seems like an afternoon tea

Boiling water cooled down a bit for 4 minutes
Rating 85?

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76

This one initially reminded me of a chai, mostly because of the ingredients. But now that I have drank it, I would say nope, no chai in there.

This one tastes strongly nutty. Definitely a thick pistachio taste. But it is not super distinctive pistachio, I think I know it is pistachio because I knew that was one of the ingredients. The rooibos is kind of woody, but it is pairing really well with a sweet but light, and slightly bitter orange rind flavour. This is a blend where the woody taste of the rooibos is definitely working in favour of the tea. The pepper gives it is bit of heat but I would not call this a spicey tea. Very nice blend, definitely can drink this as the weather starts to turn colder.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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66

Any of you who have been following me for a while and reading my notes will know that I have certain “difficulties” with pu’erh.

I just can’t find a pu’erh that I like. It all tastes fishy or mushroomy to me. I have found some highly flavoured pu’erhs that I can drink. I feel like I really need to buy some expensive stuff and try it out to know for sure because I have only tried relatively cheap and generic pu’erh. But I don’t want to spend lots of money on something I am pretty much guaranteed not to like. Tea drama all around.

This tea smells like cinnamon candies, mmmmmm cinnamon, uuuggghhh pu’erh!?! It smelled delicious, it is a flavoured loose tea, so I thought I would try it.

The dry tea is solid red hots candy smelling.

After brewing, immediately as I took the strainer out of my cup, I got a quick whiff of mushrooms. Proceed with caution.

The smell of the brewed tea is not terrible, strongly cinnamon but also earthy, not mushroomy though. A little less caution now.

The tea tastes like cinnamon, not as sweet as it smells. The pu’erh tea is strong under the cinnamon but it is more earthy tasting. So no fish. No mushrooms. I do feel like I am getting a taste of dirt every once in a while. More like fresh, moist potting soil. (No, I don’t eat potting soil, but if you are a gardener you will know what I mean). The liquor feels very thick. It tastes strong.

This one is kind of reminding me of cinnamon coffee for some reason. Overall not too bad. I think I can drink this one. I just have to keep telling myself that not all pu’erh is evil.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Fanatos

Not all puerhs is evil :)

tigress_al

Have you tried a quick rinse with pu’erh? That has worked for me on a couple that I found too “mushroom”

Lala

I have tried rinsing, although I don’t usually do that with flavoured pu. I have also tried diff steep temps and time, gonfu vs western style, trying more than one steep. I just can’t get it figured out. I think I just don’t like pu’erh. But I never get the same flavour profiles that other members on steepster get, so that makes me think I am doing something wrong. Ha ha.

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95

Attention Steepster. I love and hate you at the same time. I did not type for the last 5 minutes in order for you to just throw it all away without saving it. You are a cruel, cruel friend.

So back to the memories of this review…

I didn’t buy this one for me but I had to try it when I got home because it was so interesting. It also had rave reviews from the tea shop owner.

The dry tea reminds me so much of Christmas. It is black tea with red safflower petals and almond slivers. So pretty.

The dry tea does not really smell that amazing. It is kinda like cinnamon and nuts.

The brewed tea is delicious. The black tea and safflower petals give it a cake-y/heavy pastry flavour. There is a light cinnamon taste. It is more sweet cinnamon than spicey cinnamon. There is a light almond flavour. It is not marizipan like I find a lot of almond teas taste like, it is more natural almond taste.

This one reminds me of a coffee cake (heavy white cake/bread with cinnamon and sugar). I don’t think this one is going to last too long in my house. I will most likely go and get more.

I can imagine this would be great with milk and brown sugar, so I will just have to try another cup.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Sil

sounds delicious!

Terri HarpLady

I hate when that happens!
The tea sounds tasty though!

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